Online ordering and food delivery are two of the fastest-growing on-demand services in recent years. In early 2020, Morgan Stanley projected that the industry would reach nearly half a trillion dollars in potential revenue by 2025. Competition between different delivery companies is fierce and companies are continually looking for creative ways to improve their platforms and win over more users.
To beat their competitors, food delivery companies need to provide services that are most demanded by users. Here are some critical consumer insights on what consumers want from food delivery apps and how companies can take action to differentiate themselves from other competitors.
Consumers want local favorites, not endless discovery
When consumers access a food delivery platform, they are usually seeking convenience over meal inspiration. In fact, 54% of people already have a specific restaurant in mind before loading up their favorite delivery app.
This shows that a focus on restaurant density is a worthwhile strategy. Delivery apps should strive to present as many restaurant choices as possible, making sure a high percentage of local establishments are covered. Having ample market coverage helps ensure user retention as opposed to sending the consumer to other apps in search of the restaurant they were craving.
Additionally, food delivery companies should make sure that their restaurant partners are listing high-quality photos as part of the sales and onboarding process. The aim should be to make a restaurant’s online menu look even more appetizing and appealing than the restaurant’s own in-person menu.
Food handling safety remains a top concern
US Foods surveyed people who regularly order food online and asked how upset they would be if a deliverer tampered with their food, such as by grabbing a few fries along the way.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of users are not ok with the idea of food tampering. The average response was 8.4, with 1 being “no big deal” and 10 being “absolutely unacceptable”. In addition, 85% of customers would like to see restaurants incorporate tamper-evident labels to help ensure their food is not opened during delivery.
Food delivery companies can help with this issue by making small changes of their own. For example, some apps encourage their restaurant partners to use paper bags that can be stapled shut, making it harder to access the contents while rendering any tampering more obvious.
Consumers need to see rewards for higher-spend orders
Most online food orders range from $25 to $50, with 38% of people even willing to spend upwards of $50 on a single order. Compared with the average amount of $12.75 that consumers spend when visiting a restaurant in-person, it’s clear to see that people are spending more dollars when ordering online.
During COVID 19, this trend has accelerated as people prefer the safety and convenience of ordering and dining from home. But as life returns to normal, apps should be prepared to offer additional incentives in order to maintain that higher level of spend online.
Offering a flexible loyalty and rewards program that includes delivery is a great way to encourage mobile food orders even as more dine-in options become available. Tying rewards directly into your ordering platform encourages loyalty and dissuades users from deserting to other platforms where their points and benefits don’t carry over.
Better food photos help sell more to young people
Prior to COVID-19, a sizable 55% of people ages 18 to 24 had used a food delivery service, compared to just 40% of people ages 35 to 44, and 26% of people ages 55 to 64. Although COVID-19 has brought an increase in online ordering across all demographics, younger generations are still far more likely to use a food delivery service.
Companies can better optimize their platforms for these younger users by incorporating more images and less text. 58% of millennials polled say they prefer receiving information visually over any other medium. In addition, it is much easier for users to quickly browse an album of food pictures than it is to digest lengthy menu descriptions on a mobile device.
In fact, the ability to view photographs of menu items is the most important feature requested by all age groups when ordering food online. Snappr commissioned a study (conducted by Google) of 600 American consumers and found that viewing pictures ranked as 44% more important than reading food descriptions and 38% more important than reading user reviews!
The implementation of new high-quality food and menu photography into restaurant partner listings is an extremely effective marketing strategy for food delivery apps during COVID-19. Snappr can help your platform deliver the best visual content to consumers through our network of professional restaurant photographers. Contact our enterprise photography team today to learn how you could see a quick return on investment through our on-demand services at scale.